Buddy Holly’s Recording Debut

January 26, 2017

On 26 January, 1956, Buddy and the Two Tones made their first ever recordings. Buddy and the who, you might be saying? We didn’t know it then, but this was the studio debut of the future legend that was Buddy Holly.

Buddy Holly youngEven if it proved to be a false dawn, Charles ‘Buddy’ Holley (yes, with the extra "e") and his friends had an exciting start to 1956. After playing gigs the previous year, including one opening for the emerging Elvis Presley in Buddy’s home town of Lubbock, Texas before the bespectacled hopeful had even graduated from high school, Buddy landed a one-year record deal with Decca. Almost simultaneously, he also won a three-year publishing contract with Cedarwood.

So it was that at the end of January that year, Buddy and the Two Tones, also featuring Sonny Curtis and Don Guess, went into producer Owen Bradley’s Barn in Nashville to record their first tracks under the new Decca deal. The numbers they cut included 'Midnight Shift' and 'Don't Come Back Knockin'.' When Buddy’s contract arrived, his surname was misspelled without the “e,” but he decided to go with it, and he was Buddy Holly from that day on.

Live shows followed that year, as did two more Decca sessions, in July (where they recorded the first version of ‘That’ll Be The Day,’ among others) and November. But early in 1957 came the bombshell that Decca were not renewing their option, and that Buddy would be dropped at the end of the one-year term.

Determined to make a go of his obvious talent, Holly went to record at Norman Petty’s studios in Clovis, New Mexico, where they cut what became the hit version of 'That’ll Be The Day.’ After some legal issues were resolved, and a name change to the Crickets was decided on, Decca subsidiary Coral bought Holly’s new masters, and he was all set to record and release the songs that would place him, and the Crickets, in rock ‘n’ roll legend.

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  1. Jean-Marc

    Hi Poch,
    in the 50’s when the real music started, Buddy Holly was one of the greatest artist .
    But on Feb. 59 the worst happenned and that’s when the music died…..

  2. Brian Scullion

    1958 was the year that rock’n’roll came of age and became the soundtrack for this young teenager.
    The music was vibrant and new and many of the older orders of musical values were swept away.. Buddy played a major part in that year, but by February 1959 he was dead, and the music died with him. Yes, there was new music, still entertaining, but without the excitement of 1958. It was almost as though the music echoed the loss of that great musician.
    Thank you, Buddy , for adding so many songs which i have never forgotten, and never wiil

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